Monday, 25 January 2010


A new newspaper was launched today in Scotland.

The “Caledonian Mercury” is Scotland's first on-line newspaper, a leader in what surely is to be the future for newspapers the world over, given the circulation figures of the dead tree press.

Professionally presented, the Mercury, edited by a former Scotsman editor, Stewart Kirkpatrick, provides coverage of the wide range of reading material that you would expect from a modern broadsheet type organ. News, Sport, Heritage, Entertainment, Outdoors, and a group of stories under the heading “Strangelets”... Nope, I’m not telling you what they are; go and have a look for yourself and put the hits number up.

Many of us have been complaining for a long time now that with The Scotsman, The Record and the BBC firmly in the pocket of the Labour Party, and The Herald leaning that way too, it was time for a decent Scottish newspaper which would reflect other intelligent viewpoints from our country. We wanted some way of reading news about Scotland without having to get it from the pages of an English newspaper. It seems that we are to be given that opportunity.

Let’s hope that the paper lives up to our expectations, and that there is sufficient support to make it worthwhile for the editor and staff to produce it...

I, for one, am looking forward to it being my first port of call for Scottish and worldwide news.



  1. Hopefully I'm wrong but the Caledonian does look like an establishment operation to try and influence /control the online media.
    A free half hour puff on 'Newsnight Scotland' and Scotsman journalists writing articles. It doesn't look good. All signed up members of the establishment.
    The MSM are pretty much sewn up but the independent online bloggers are failing to fall into line despite numerous attacks.
    What better way to gather info ( ISP addresses, viewpoints etc ) than a common portal for bloggers to congregate ?
    I'd like to know who the paper is accountable to and who provides the funding.
    If the paper covers EU corruption, global warming scam and the failure of the union and multiculturalism then I might reconsider my views. Until then I'll steer well clear of the paper.
    A convenient story about Jim Murphy ignoring the SNP just sends out warning signs of 'black ops'.

  2. Well, time will tell Anon. It is to be hoped that this is a more independent minded organ, but in the meantime, the optimist in me says give them a chance.

    I don’t ask that they be Nationalist, just that they be fair.

  3. Mungin
    It wouldn't take more than half an hour for Caledonian to explain their stand on the illegal wars, expenses theft by politicians, global warming scam, EU corruption, unionism, common purpose, war of terror etc.
    We no longer have to give opinion forming media outlets the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best. There are plenty other blogs and media outlets where we know the editorial stand and can use instead.
    So I'll not bother with them for now. Anyone who gets a ringing endorsement from the BBC is part of the establishment. And to be avoided.

  4. Fair enough. I'll let you know what I think of them in the next few weeks....

  5. I'd like to know who the paper is accountable to and who provides the funding.

    Anon has a good point. In terms of funding this site is going to have to burn through quite a lot of money before it can build enough of a readership (it hopes) to fund itself through advertising and that is advertising without classifieds.

    If it's a regular online newspaper it's going to have to cover the costs of the website, the content editing and page design and the journalists through online advertising alone and it's not going UK wide. In commercial terms it will be classed as a regional website restricted to a Scottish readership. Plenty of people make money out of online advertising but I don't know of anyone who makes enough money solely through online advertising to fund an entire newspaper staff.

    If it's very, very good it might do that but it appears to be a refuge for ex-Scotsman employees and at the moment it hasn't managed to differentiate itself from any other Scottish Press content online.

    If it doesn't support the SNP or have a go at Labour in Scotland it's just going to be another online Herald or Scotsman and we already have two of those. The other route would be to provoke nationalists in an effort to gain web traffic but it's not aggressively unionist either.

    I can understand nationalists putting an online paper up to try and balance the labour and unionist content of the MSM but I can't understand the reasoning behind the creation of this one.

    The site design looks good which costs money, the political content is by ex-Scotsman journalist Hamish Macdonell which costs money, the sport is by ex-Sunday Times journalist Richard Wilson which costs money...the whole thing looks professional and slick but who's the audience? It seems aimed squarely at Herald and Scotsman readers who are already catered for.

    Perhaps it is paranoia but I think of it more as wariness. I don't understand who this site is aimed at and who it supports or the commercial reasoning behind it. Once it becomes clear I'll be happier.

  6. You make good points as always Doug. I too wonder how it is financing itself, but I welcome it because the Scotsman is unreadable and the Herald is only tolerable. For a while now I have relied on the Times or Independent for my information. I welcome something new and something Scottish.

    Someone must be providing the finance. Of course I imagine that making money is the end game; it usually is. I wait to see whether it is going to provide us with a more balanced view of Scotland than the current nonsense.

    If it turns out to me more of the same I will ditch it, and, judging by the sales figures for the other papers, so will everyone else. It will then fail.

    Let’s hope it’s good and balanced though.... Only time will tell that.